tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC September 17, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
it, i'm all about it. thanks for watching this hour of velshi and reuhl. i peel be back this weekend. >> there are questions about what ali does. check us out on social media, and check out our show. right now "andrea mitchell reports." breaking her silence, bridge brett kavanagh in crisis meetings today at the white house as a college professor identifies herself as anonymous accuser claiming he attacked her after drinking heavily at a high school party. they were both teenagers. >> she's willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth. she's a credible person, these are serious allegations and they should be addressed. >> coming up here, judiciary member chris coons, part of a growing number of senators who say that this week's
confirmation of kavanagh should be delayed. hurricane florence taking the lives of 18 people. and entire communities are surrounded by water. >> i've been through every hurricane since the '70s and i have never experienced anything like this before. >> this is not salt water, it's not near a salt water area. it's all rain. >> it's kind of scary that it happened all of a sudden. >> my conversation with california governor jerry brown who says now is the time for action. >> everybody's got to step up and the president of the united states should be the cheerleader, the exemplar, and instead, he's the sabateur, and that's tragic. and on edge, how could paul manafort flipping hurt the white house? >> this was a very bad day for the trump administration. when you don't know what a cooperator is saying, then it's a bad day for you because you're vulnerable and expose.
>> and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington with the nomination of judge brett kavanagh to the supreme court is now facing upsetting and serious head winds. christine blasey ford who says that judge kavanagh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. kavanagh released a statement, this is a completely false allegation, i have never done anything like this. i am willing to talk to the senate judiciary committee in any way the committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation from 36 years ago and defend my integrity. nbc news has not spoken to the accuser directly, but her lawyer did speak with savannah guthrie
this morning on the "today" show. >> the therapist notes from three years ago when she recounted this said this was an attempted rape. does she consider this an attempted rape? >> she clearly considers this an attempted rape, she believes if it were not for the severe intoxication of brett kavanagh, she would have been raped. >> a lot of people look at this and say here's somebody who has a political motive to tell this story, what would you say to that? >> i would say no one in their right mind regardless of their motives would want to inject themselves into this process and face the kind of annihilation that she will be subjected to by those who want this nominee to go through. this is not a politically motivated action. >> joining me, kristen welter,
barbara mccray, and jane mayor. and "usa today's" washington bureau chief, susan page. jean, first to you, how difficult is it for women to take this on, to come forward? why didn't she do it sooner and why did she two it now? >> i think we can see it's a tremendous struggle if you take a look at the kinds of things that are being said about her at this point and you've got a nominee for the supreme court in essence calling her a liar for telling what she thought was very important for the public to know. so it not a pleasant kind of task to bring this sort of information to light. still all these years after anita hill, it's not a lot easier. >> we want to come back to you. you wrote the book on anita hill, you were the one who really investigated all of that after the fact. but right now, a crisis meeting
this morning at least at the white house, a judge was there, we don't know who he was meeting with, kristen welker, what do we think was going on there? >> don mcgahn who's the white house counsel is the person who really headed up this progress, so i would be surprised that don mcgahn was not among the top cabinet officials that were meeting today. we're not getting any indication if he's meeting with the president, but we continue to drill down on that getting a list of the officials that were in that white house meeting. what is the white house's strategy right now? well, they are standing by judge kavanagh by that very firm denial of judge kavanagh, underscoring the fact that he said he's willing to testify and the president's top advisor, kellyanne conway saying that she thinks it's important that dr. ford had
her say. take a listen to how she
answered our questions earlier today. should she be heart on capitol hill? >> absolutely, she should not be ignored, she should testify under oath and she could do it on capitol hill, but that's up to the senate judiciary committee. she should
be heard, but i talked to senator lindsay graham and he said that that can be done tomorrow so that we can proceed forward. >> >> reporter: andreandrea, as yow the calls on capitol hill are growing louder do delay the confirmation that was initially going forward. jeff flake says he needs to know more. senator susan collins says she certainly wants to know more about all of this, murkowski among others saying there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and they want to hear from dr. ford. right now, chuck grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, is trying to arrange follow-up phone calls with
kavanagh and with dr. ford. but that's not enough for a lot of democrats, they say they want an fbi investigation and they want to hear from kavanagh. >> and we have more information from susan collins to susan page. susan collins has now tweeted that professor ford and judge kavanagh should both testify under oath before the judiciary committee. a phone conversation, something not under oath, something not in person is not enough that could jeopardize the thursday schedule for senator grassley to suggest it can be done that quickly, judge kavanagh is here, but as far as we know professor ford is still on the west coast. we saw very quickly during the clarence thomas hearing evolved after a very anonymous anita hill was outed basically by e a
advocacy groups and did speak to the supreme court correspondent and very, very quickly, the whole hearing was reopened. >> the susan collins tweet is decisive, it means they can't go forward, they need her support, they need her vote. and senator flake, who is on the committee and has said that he wanted some more time. so this means, i think, it seems to me very, very likely that we're going to have testimony under oath by both of them in person under the committee. and people will then make a decision on who they believe because at the moment they're saying die metical saying d saying die metically different stories. and to barbara welcome quamcqua have the husband of christine
blasey ford, said she had been a abused in marriage counselor, so she spoke to her husband, and to a psychiatrist as to what she believes is the trauma of the situation. how does that get translated if there is no contemporaneous witness, nobody to say i was in high school and i saw this happen and i know she talked to me at the time. that's not the kind of thing that a 17-year-old would discuss even with a close friend at the time. >> reporte >> there's really two issues is the allegation true and does it matter if it is true. one of the things i have learned as a prosecutor, women are often very reluctant to come forward at the time and tell their stories, and not later or ever
because society shames them. they have learned from anita hill and others, that they just won't be believed. and there's i just want to get on with my life and not expose it to the public. the counter about her husband that would probably not be heard in any court matters, but i think we should hear what she has to say under oath and under the scrutiny of cross-examination. and does it matter? there are peoples going around saying this is just a 17-year-old boy awkward at romance. the other thing we have learned, sexual assault is a crime, it's a crime of violence. if we were talking about murder that happened, just because it was old and happened in high school, we should not ignore that. and similarly, sexual assault is something we should take seriously, and do we want someone on the highest court in the land if they're guilty of
sexual assault. >> and isn't there contemporaneous information that there was a lot of drinking going on, and the other boy who's been named has written about his teenage and adult alcoholism. he's actually a writer that's dealt with this. does that add to the equation that the heavy drinking they might not remember? >> she says in her allegation that she described brett kavanagh as stumbling drunk. it and there is actually a witness in this case that makes it slightly different from some of these others in that there was a third person in the room, a close friend of brett kavanagh named mark judge who has given a kind of categorical denial that this could have ever happened and said he had no recollection of it. he's gone back and forth between no recollection and no, it couldn't have happened. but anyway, there is someone else, there's ample evidence
that britadrinking was a big th for brett kavanagh if you look at his yearbook, he was a member of what they called the 100 keg club, and the object was to drink 100 kegs of beer during their senior year. i just wanted to say in terms of how this issue of whether it matters or not, i think it's a hard one, i think that we all know that people do stupid things in high school and they grow up and regret them. but i think what's important here or may become important is that brett kavanagh is not sayisay saying, i'm sorry, i did something stupid, he's saying i never did this. that is going to bring in the necessity as it did with anita hill and clarence thomas, bringing in more information, patterns of behavior, other witnesses, he's opening himself up for a larger inquiry by
saying i never did anything remotely like this. >> does it bring into question some of the issues that have been brought into question by senator leahy and others at the white house, whether he cooperated with the other operative on the hill named miranda, whether she lied, whether he was being truthful about all his answers during the bush white house years? >> this has been a controversial supreme court nominee, maybe they all are these days, but there's been questions raised about the availability of documents that go back to his service in the george w. bush white house, whether he testified entirely and truthfully. and so there is a kind of landscape here where we knew that even before this allegation surfaced that it was going to be a very close vote. it depended on these two moderate republican snenators sticking with him and the gop to get confirmed and that becomes even more of a question in the
wake of these allegations. >> and let me say really quickly, that roe v. wade was certainly an issue between murkowski and collins, and it seemed that murkowski was satisfied that about the issue. but this would be an issue for any female senator, republican or democratic senator to ignore. >> to not treat very seriously. and in addition i think it makes it very unlikely that any democratic senator is going to vote for brett kavanagh. >> including the three red states? >> because it seems to me that the political calculation just tips you over to say you would have no trouble defending a no-vote in the wake of these allegations. >> thank you all so very much. more to come, we will be talking to senate judiciary
committee senator chris coons of delaware about his nomination. but first those catastrophic conditions in the carolinas, evacuation orders in the wake of hurricane florence, stay with us on andr"andrea mitchell report" right here on msnbc. how do you win at business? stay at laquinta. where we're changing with contemporary make-overs. then, use the ultimate power handshake, the upper hander with a double palm grab. who has the upper hand now? start winning today. book now at lq.com. i saw my leg did not look right. i landed.
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now as that storm continues to churn through north carolina, it has dumped two feet or more in many places. wherever you live in north carolina, be alert for sudden flooding. >> governor roy cooper, warning that north carolina residents should worry about florence's impact and it is far from over. at least 19 people have died as a result of the hurricane. the hurricane that ravaged the carolinas over the weekend now downgraded to a tropical depression. wilmington, north carolina remains under two of water. gadi, tell me about the conditions, i can see already that you've got water and a current and it moving quickly? >> reporter: yeah, andrea, a lot of people are going to come out
today, i mean this is the first day in five days that we have actually had sunlight, think that things are okay, but what we're seeing right now is a disaster in slow motion. we're just above fayetteville and this is a town called spring lake. that backside of the sign that you're seeing is actually the water gauge, and you can see the river has crested the water gauge. what you don't see where there's a little wake in this water, this is a bridge. this is called the manchester bridge, this is a bridge that everyone was watching because they thought this might be overtaken. sure enough, the little river has crested over the bridge, this is the highest levels they have seen, higher than matthew, and this water is not just coming from this river, it's coming from here where it's coming from some other creeks. you've got the water overtaking this hotel right here. they have been evacuating everybody from this area.
the high water in fayetteville are threatening 2,200 homes. so there's been a lot of evacuations in the last few days. this is where that water is coming from. and to put this into perspective, it's an estimated 17 trillion gallons of water that hurricane florence brought to this region. that's enough to cover the entire state of texas in about four inches of water. all of that came somewhere and we're seeing it rise up in the rivers, creating a very haza hazardous situation. just a little while ago, we were on a rescue, we saw a dog named bandit had been rescued. the family had gotten out of there in time but the dog had to be left behind. but the rescue team from ft. brag came and got the dog. the family is very happy. the sun is out and yet the rivers here continue to rise. >> if there's one little bit of good news, bandit back with his or her owner, whatever bandit
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with the kavanagh confirmation now in jeopardy senator, first of all, what we're now hearing from chairman grass lley is he wants to give r a chance to speak. initially he said on the phone, they should have phone conversations. and susan collins says that's not good enough, they should come in and be sworn to testify. what say you? >> well, i agree, as kellyanne said earlier today, we should take the time for a full and
fair and appropriate process. the right way to investigate dr. ford's allegations against judge kavanagh is for the fbi to investigate it to make it part of the background investigation that the fbi professionally does on every nominee, to a federal court. look, we're talking about here a lifetime appointment to the supreme court of the united states. i think we should take a few more days and make sure that dr. ford has an opportunity to come forward, to be fully heard and for this to be handled ploeptly by law enforcement. first and then by the judiciary committee as a whole. >> and that could take some time, we know that investigations take a long time. what they're talking about is go ahead with the vote and have them each testify and have a he said/she said and put it to the committee would stand at least going into this, perhaps susan collins would change her mind based on this? >> reporter: well,well, --
>> well, andrea, i urge the committee to make sure that this is dealt with fully and completely. there will be a statement i'll be releasing today, about the j underlying legal issues which i questioned judge kavanagh, and i'm finishing reviewing them and then working with my folks on a final public statement about judge cavanauglv kavanagh, i th lots of issues relating to the documents that were not provided to the committee. >> i know you're working on a finished document, but right now what do you have questions about, based on the answers you have now received? >> my core concern about judge kavanagh has been his view of presidential power. he's well outside of america's legal main stream and he's made
it clear in speeches he's given, in decisions he's issued in the district circuit court that he follows a view of the president's powers they think doesn't really comply with the legal precedent or legal main screen thinking. and to fire at will a special prosecutor engaged in investigating the president. i didn't get satisfactory answers from judge kavanagh in his confirmation hearing. he wasn't willing to stand up and defend things he has said or he has written in law review articles or to explain his decision in a critical case earlier this year. i think that should be of concern to republicans and democrats given the current context. >> but the hearings concluded and you made those arguments, senator leahy made other arguments about whether or not he was telling the truth about mandy miranda and ore things.
they have the votes on the floor we believe. including perhaps three democrats in red states who are in very tough re-elections. so does this change anything? does this allegation and it may not be able to get to the bottom of it, it could be a he said/she said. does this allegation change anything? should it change anything if it was one allegation 36 years ago? >> well, andrea, what it certainly should change is the onward rush toward the vote this thursday. it is long past time to make sure that we are listening. if this ends up being just a he said/she said, the first step is to ensure that she gets an opportunity to be heard. and in fairness we need to give judge kavanagh and opportunity to be heard as well. i don't think it's appropriate to have judge grassley schedule
a couple of staff calls and race toward a vote this thursday. and i'm encouraged that we hear both republican senators and democratic senators say we need to make sure that we give this matter a full and fair hearing. in terms of journal kavanagh's long established record and his views matter as well. but i think this accusation and the timing of moving forward to make sure that it's fully vetted may well change the outcome here. >> chris coons, thank you very much. and coming up next, heating up, my interview with california governor jerry brown rips into president trump on climate change. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
as we have been reporting, rescue operations are still under way in the carolinas, incredible flooding there, close to 1,000 water rescues have been made in north carolina alone. the catastrophic flooding making travel impossible in some areas and nearly 15,000 people are already staying in 150 shelters across the state. california's governor jerry brown announcing late friday in the face of global warming, of climate change and what he calls a lack of a federal response, the state of california is going to send its own satellite into orbit to track the progress of climate change. which of course is causing hurricanes to be stronger and more severe.
i talked to jerry brown at his global climate action summit late friday, amidst a gathering of state, local and world leaders. we're in the midst of hurricanes and the after math of hurricanes, and we still have the president of the united states denying the science of climate change. how do you counter act that? >> first of all i want to say, it's really extraordinary that the president can deny science like that. but he e's -- and combatting th of the united states, in what are lies, distortions and quite frank
frankly bizarre behavior. we can't say it enough, the president is just wrong. >> the hurricanes are more severe, the wildfires are more severe. the storm surge is worse because sea levels are rising. talk to me about what we are physically experiencing here in the united states and around the world that proves that everyone who predicted that this would happen are -- >> i would say we're just experiencing the very early beginnings of climate change. the forest fires in california which are worse than any other time in recorded history. it's really just -- unfortunately, it's just the beginning, as the carbon builds up, it builds up very rapidly, we'll have more drought, more fires, more storms, more intense storms, more trouble, and the worst part is more migration, we're going to have people moving from their land that will no longer produce enough food. so the world leaders have got to wakeup. >> the exit from the paris
climate agreement isn't official and binding until 2020. but what is the impact already internationally of the united states having said we're out of it. >> so trump is an enabler. we often hear that term enabler. he's an enabler of climate negligence and climate avoidance. so th -- so we have to make sure that all these other countries, whether it's russia, poland, south america, whoever it is, everybody's got to step up, and the president should be the clear leader, the exemplar and instead he's the sabateur, and that's tragic. >> here at the climate mon fence, you faced protesters, the democratic party has divisions, how do you handle that? some people say you're not even -- despite your leadership on this issue, that we're not doing enough.
>> we're not doing enough, nobody is. i do believe we're doing more than anyone else and that's not enough. the protesters want to get the oil out of the ground faster, and i think that's a noble thought. but i think what we're seeing in the protests, you're going to see incoherent disruptive reactions because people are going to say, gee, if this climate change keeps going, it could be the end of the world as we know it. or it could be a very deteriorated world. so kids are going to react, and they're going to do whatever they can to make everyone up. so i would take these protests as a wakeup call. >> as a governor, how do you feel when the president of the united states says that nearly 3,000 people did not die in puerto rico, even though it was the result of a scientific study and says that it was a democratic conspiracy to claim all these deaths. >> well the problem is, we never had a president who was engaged in this kind of behavior.
i mean he's not telling the truth, he keeps changing his mind, he's sabotaging the world order in many respects. it's unprecedented, it's dangerous, so hopefully the democrats will send a strong message to the president, and something's got to happen to this guy, because if we don't get rid of him, he's going to -- >> what about canada and west virginia and other states where you've got trump, when he campaigned, getting the coal miners and others to feel that this is all threatening their livelihoods. >> it's a real problem. i mean trump won west virginia 85%, that's real and any politician has to deal with that. so the rest of the country has got to find ways of keeping their ambition and raising it to take climate action. but in terms of these other coal impacted countries, we're going
to have to find real dollar investments to help those people before we can say okay, we're shutting your coal down, but we bea better have a good program. >> do you see any democratic leaders rising up that can take on this president in to 20 if20 he's running? >> not yet, but there's time. so i hope those democrats running around will see those problems and in a very sophisticated way find the language and the issues to win over the american people. it's not just something you just start talking about. this is difficult, because climate change is a transformation, and trump is very clever, real animal cunning, but i don't underestimate him for a minute. >> and tomorrow my conversation with former vice president and environmentalist al gore. coming up, what does former
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paul manafort is now an open book for robert amueller and hi team of investigators. trump's former campaign manager pleading guilty in two accounts of lying to prosecutors. he reached an agreement to cooperate on any matter that the special counsel deems ploe s appropriat appropriate. ken and barbara, you were in the courtroom back in virginia for the first trial, so we're reuniting you today to talk about this plea deal, he's flipped in a big way. and barbara, first to you, to some of counter act what rudy giuliani was putting out over the weekend, that this doesn't affect the president, has nothing to do with the campaign. the way i'm reading this agreement is that he's agreeing to say, to talk to them about anything they want and even without his lawyer present.
>> yeah, absolutely, i think rudy giuliani wants to focus on the precise charges to which paul manafort pleaded guilty. i suppose those don't typically have anything to do with the president. but as you say, they completely do, because his plea agreement requires him to talk about any issue whatsoever. and he was in a position as the campaign chairman to know a lot about what was going on in the campaign. and he had connections to russia. so i'm sure robert mueller is going to want to probe all of cho those relationships. >> and now where do all of the millions and millions of dollars they have forced this him for ffor -- for fit and it does not go into -- there's a general pot of money for things like this that
are forfeited. >> they actually took in $1.6 billion last year in civil and criminal forfeitures into that fund. and $4 million this year will be from manafort including that mansion in the hamptons and other real estate that the government is going to be seizing from mr. manafort and while it doesn't go directly into robert mueller's budget, it does go into the federal treasury, so mueller has paid for his investigation, the tab is running, but it's up to about $27 million so far, even if it goes two more years, it looks like he comes out ahead for seizing these funds from paul manafort. >> we should point out it depends on what the market value is if they're going to sell these assets. it's not cash, but it is real
estate, a lot of it is real sta estate. we know about derapaska. he could be one of the big nexxuss between the trump organization and any russians? >> no doubt robert mueller is going to look at that. he's got a lot of cases that have been spun off to other prosecutor's cases. there's michael cohen who's being handled by the southern district of new york. it but the charges against manafort were unrelated to the election, and why is that? i think that manafort is that conduit to russia. so in the coming days and weeks they will want to sit down and ask many questions about the 2016 trump tower meeting where
jared kushner and donald trump jr. were present. did president trump know about the meeting? what was decided and agreed then? i think there are many connections wikileaks and the placement and dissemination of the e-mails. and so i think paul manafort is potentially a huge area of information relating to russia. >> barbara, double duty today. thank you so much. ken, as always, thank you. coming up, man-made disaster? the fema director digging himself out of another hole. challenging the official death toll in puerto rico. stay with us right here on msnbc. i've always looked forward to what's next.
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floodwaters in the carolinas still are rising. so are new questions surrounding fema administrator brock long after comments on "meet the press" of aftermath of hurricane maria questioning the studies tying thousands of deaths in puerto rico to the storm echoing the president's criticism of the findings. >> you might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix the roof, die in car crashes because they went through an intersection where the stoplights weren't working and
studies on this. spousal abuse goes through the roof. you can't blame spousal abuse after a disaster on anybody. >> let's get the inside scoop of "the washington post" correspondent and "the new york times" chief white house correspondent. peter, first to you. i don't know. brock doesn't seem to be willing to let this go. and these are scientific studies, one of which the gw study was adopted by the governor of puerto rico who has been an ally of the president's throughout this, not the mayor of san juan but the governor of puerto rico. so what is the percentage in denying the validity of the studies? >> that's right. brock long faces a challenge. he works for president trump. he's not going to try to counteract or counter the president on television when his job seems to be on the line anyway under investigation for his use of government vehicles for personal purposes. so, you know, he is stuck in the
position of having to echo the company line whether he's -- he believes in it or not. the study should be reminded our viewers is that looking at what death rates were in a similar period prior to the hurricane versus what it was in the months after the hurricane with the researchers found was 3,000 more people died during the period immediately after the hurricane than before. they don't have a list of names but the point was that the only major factor to explain an uptick in deaths is the hurricane and aftermath, affects that linger for so long in puerto rico. >> now, we should also say that colleagues, people in the agency, say he is a really well experienced emergency management guy, that he is one of the best fema administrators from their per suspect i in the field from north carolina and he is under investigation at the same time for questions that have been raised, now trey gaudy is raising questions about his use
of vehicles and apparently he has conflict with the homeland security cabinet secretary. >> yeah. i thought it was really kind of a dramatic moment yesterday when chuck todd asked brock long about whether or not the homeland secretary asked for his resignation or whether that was on the table. he sort of drew a breath and looked down and back up and said no, she never asked him for resignation and then on that show and another one where he appeared yesterday he defended his job performance and said he expects to continue working for the secretary and to keep doing his job. but he also acknowledged that there's an open question surrounding the use of -- his use of government vehicles and they might have to -- i believe he said clean that up in terms of the -- whether -- exactly what the rules are governing the vehicles which have secure
communications in them that he had used apparently without checking every box he was supposed to check. >> peter, this, again, gets to the larger question of why the president was challenging the puerto rico numbers. to say that with the failure of the infrastructure and communications and the failure to restore electricity and get food and water to people, that the number of 64 deaths that was acknowledged when he was down there during a very controversial visit the paper towels and the like, to question that and to be challenging whether people who are dead are really dead just seems so unseemly given what presidents of the united states are supposed to do in times of national crisis. >> well, certainly, if you're the family member of somebody that died in puerto rico after the hurricane you look at the debate of the numbers and find it to be pretty, you know, pretty, you know, it's certainly
not seemly as you put it. what matters to you is your loved one is dead. could that have been prevented? it is not to that person a matter of politics but the president's feeling on the defensive. when the people talk about how badly the government responded to puerto rico, especially compared to hurricanes in texas and elsewhere, that's an attack on the president. he gets very -- he gets his back up and 3,000 people died, he takes it as a slam on him and he's going to push back and deny it as strongly and vigorously as he can. whether or not it's offends people in puerto rico or not. >> well, thanks to you, peter. this story is not going to go away as fema is under such a spotlight now for its response. by all accounts doing a very good job in the field. again. thanks both to you and that does it for this edition of "andrew mitchell reports." follow the show online. tomorrow my interview with al
gore. chris jansing is up next here. hey there. >> thank you so much. good afternoon. i'm chris jansing on a busy afternoon here at msnbc headquarters in new york. hanging in the balance. brett kavanaugh's nomination was supposed to be a sure thing and now it's anything but. the administration trying to save the nomination as kavanaugh spends time at the white house today. what will republicans do and will the president's attacks on the key senator come back to haunt him? attack the accuser. the lawyer for the woman claiming kavanaugh tried to rape her said christine ford is getting vicious, violent e-mails but she is willing to tell her story under oath before senators. can this get even nastier? and flood threat. in the aftermath of florence, the death toll ticks up. rescues continue as the danger is still very real. we'll have live reports from the